hints for January


Vegetables.
 Often I get asked what shall  I do with out of season fruits etc. There is nothing you can do to change the weather conditions but do not be tempted to start covering things up too much or you will run into the problem of when to take the covers off. 
It really does depend on the weather what if anything you can do this month in your garden. Leeks and parsnips can still be harvested; even when the ground is frozen you can usually break the surface so as to get the crop out.
Sprouts and other cabbage family crops can be harvested as needed.
Watch out for the pigeons if we get snow as the taller crops only may be open for them to see and eat.
Clay type soil can be dug and left rough for the weather to help break down.
Seed potatoes should be laid out in trays with the eyes uppermost so that they can form god strong short spurs ready for planting later , they do need full daylight but frost free conditions.
Your trench for runner beans can be prepared using plenty of compost or rotted manure , so that it has time to settle for planting much later.
Fruit
You can when the weather is suitable still plant raspberry and other cane fruits,
I would tend to leave potted things like strawberries until a little later when the soil starts to warm.
It is not too late if you want to prune other fruits, most fruit on older wood or spurs so they need to have some of the new growth reduced leaving a good open centre but blackcurrants fruit on wood formed the previous summer so should have been pruned soon after fruiting to encourage new wood.
Red currants, white currants and gooseberries make good cordon plants which will take up much less space. However do make sure they are not a variety that tends to have a weeping habit.
Flowers
You can check any dahlia or similar tubers that are in store, early chrysanthemums can be started into growth if you have facilities for taking and growing cuttings.
If your indoor hyacinths after flowering are kept watered and frost free  they can be planted out in the garden to flower in later years.
Now is a good time to give your daffodils a light dressing of  a high potash feed to help with the colour and growth of new bulbs, I generally use Vitax  Q4.
Lawns
You are best to leave the lawns alone in frosty cold weather unless there are still some leaves to clear.

Update

Updated January 2nd
Please note I have had to change my email address , which now is laurie.manser@gmail.com please use  this if you wish to contact me.
I do hope that some of the hints will be of use to you, I can only say what I do and why I do it
 as , there is not a right or wrong way of doing things in gardening .
I did write a small book about my life from a garden boy in the 40's and we sold it when I did my "Memory" talk, we donated 50p per book to the British Heart Foundation who received over £1000.00 as a result. I do not get it printed now but on the right is a link by which you can download it to read.
I have been asked to put my talk on to a disc for those who have been unable to hear it, I have done this and a few discs are available ,please email me for details.
At the bottom of this page if you click on "older posts" there are more hints

Container grown plants




As most of you will know I lost my garden when we had to move from the tied house with our employer dieing and me coming to the age  of 80. Since then we have grow most things in containers apart from things I grow on my allottment. These picture are just to show some of the  container plants.

Sweet peas

Thse are my first bunch picked 25th May which is right as I usually pick chelsea week.
I went to my allotment this morning to check after hard frost. pleased to see sweet peas still looking good. They were sown on 8th October last year.




Potatoes ready for planting after at least ten weeks chitting, I will plant them on the flat so that I have plenty of soil for earthing up  and the potatoes grow through the centre of the ridge rater than come out of the side.

2018 Sweetpeas

I sowed my sweetpeas on October 8th as I have done for many years, I have good germination 48 seedlings out of 50 seeds. I think there might be one or two to come up yet. They are looking rather drawn as with no garden or greenhouse I am very limited as to where to put them. I must single them out within a few days.
10/25/2017
I have just singled the sweet peas into root trainers, there are 51 from 50 purchased seeds. They always allow one or two extras.

The second picture taken on Jan. 6th show sweet peas breaking with out being stopped , they are been outside ever since they were put into root trainers

My latest picture taken on March 28th shows plants now, planted hoping weather stays good.
waiting to be planted once the ground is suitable.

more onion news


More pictures to show the progress pf my onion sets. Top two taken 14th April




Onion sets just starting to  show, I plant well down in the soil so that no trouble with birds, having got rid of white rot I get a good crop.

Onion 2016

I


I am putting these pictures onto my website to show the effect of using garlic powder for white rot. When I first took over this plot I suffered a complete loss of my onion crop due to white rot, I have treated this area with garlic powder and this year they really do look good. I just need some sun to help ripen them up.

Sweet peas

It has been a bad year for me with sweet peas, I decided to try saving my own seed last year and this has been very reasonable but when I planted the plants back in March ,  the very next day we had storm Katie. This almost blew them out of the ground but enough survived to amke  best part of a row. As they came into flower I had bud drop plus a spell in hospital, this meant I had to let the plants go for about a week meaning bent stems. However when show day came I managed one vase of ten, these were good enough to bet  best in show so I still hold the cup which I forst won 42 years ago. I have not had it every year but will keep trying.

Some of my seedling daffodils

These are 3 of my seedlings that I have registered and named over the years. I have had prizes at London shows with them including "Best" in section with Ann's Blush. We also have Molly Ann named after our grand daugther
Top bloom Ann's White , bottom left Ann's Cream.and bottom right Ann.s Blush

Broad Beans 2016


Thess last two photos were taken on May 8th, the row is not complete as I lost a few in the bad storm but should get a good crop before the blackfly start
In past years I have sown my Aquadulce broad beans direct in the round in Oct/Nov but this year as the ground was very wet and in the past I have lost some to the mice etc. I have tried starting them in a tray. I have no greenhouse now so they have been in a cold frame. They are now ready for planting out and look quite good.

broad beans 2014/15

Broad Beans now in flower , they came through the winter very well.
Some of my Aqaudulce broadbeans , I sow in late October as they are a good hardy variety to stand the winter.  Sometimes they get damaged with servere frost but even then they will break at soil level.

Had some sucess at our show  Saturday April 11th. Many varieties were not out but using those that were I won 4 trophies along with 10 first prizes. I am very pleased as they are all grown on my allottment now having lost our agrden when we moved from the tied house. The pink trumpet is called Pink Silk.

Daphne in bloom , grown from seed

Daphne in bloom , grown from  seed




Top picture shows ready to plant early March

Now ready to plant early March




There seems to be a lot of chat about if we should chit seed potatoes ready to plant or not. I always say there are  many different ways of doing things in gardening, but just looking at the alterantives. If you do not  chit you have to  leave the poatoes in the bag which will give you  long weak shoots whereas the shoots are much better if laid  out, so I chit as in the photos.  I bought these just before  Christmas and they will not be planted for some long time yet. The larger ones will be cut when I plant them.

Onion White rot

I have mentioned before about having white rot in my onions and treating the soil with garlic powder.
I still had white rot badly this year (2014) but reading that others seemed to have more success I thought I would try once more. I am not sure where I got the garlic powder last year but when I got some more this year as used for horses it smelt a lot stronger than last years, so I have once more treaeted the soil and will see what happens next year.

Black Berries and sweet peas

I did post a picture of the large flowers on my blackberry canes , now I have started picking some very nice large blackberries
A fortnight ago I had some success with my sweet peas that I now grow on the allotment, four first prizes with one cup, one medal and a certificate.





Had to thin some of my gooseberries this morning, this is their first year but the branches were touching the ground. I did buy from a  fruit nursery so that they were lifted one day and I planted them with a little "root grow" the next day.

Spring Show 2014

We managed to put a few entries into the LGA show, Ann got best flower arrangemant and I got the Henry Reader Cup for the best vase of trumpets. I did stage a vase of 3 "MollyAnn" but only got a second.



"Molly Ann" a variety that we have registered with the RHS and Daffodil Society named after our grand daughter.

Managed to win the six vase class and a few others, the single bloom is Bravoure quite a nice 1w/y.
The top photo is top to bottom left to right. Achduart,Estrella, Privateer,Golden Aura,Gold Finger and
Perbeck.